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ONE PHOTO – ONE STORY

09.03.2022

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“When I think about Ukraine, this picture comes to mind. It shows Irina Slakar preparing her veil on her wedding day. She is marrying Demitri, a former miner in Donetsk, Ukraine. It was taken in August 1993. I was working on a long-term project about the changes going on in Donetsk post USSR. I first visited Donetsk in December 1991 three weeks before the day the USSR collapsed. I originally went to photograph the coal miners of the region.

I stayed with a coal mining family, the Slakars: Victor and Katiya with Katiya’s children from her first marriage, Irina and Sergey. The family were very welcoming and it was great to stay with them. We struck up a close friendship and they invited me back over the next four years. I returned to record some of their big family events, like the marriage of Irina to Demitri. This is one of my favourite images as it seems to capture a quiet moment of reflection as Irina tries on her veil. All the hopes she has for the future; the hope that life will be good to them. I unfortunately lost contact with them when my English-speaking contact retired and moved away from Donetsk. I know that Victor and Katiya moved down to the Black Sea to retire, whilst Irina and Sergey remained in Donetsk. I tried to get in contact with them back in 2015 but it wasn’t possible. I can only hope they are safe and well, somewhere away from the conflict.”

Text: Adam Hinton; Image: © Adam Hinton/Panos

Adam Hinton

The 15-year-old Adam Hinton bought professional camera equipment with the first instalment of government compensation following a knife attack (the attacker had something against punks). From that point on, his focus was always on photography. He studied Photojournalism at Richmond-upon-Thames College in London, and at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham. In addition, he studied Cultural Sciences at Thames Valley University in London. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the AOP Award and the Taylor Wessing Award. Hinton is represented by the Panos agency.  

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